May 18, 2016
The Center for Automata Processing convened the research community to the University of Virginia for a two-day discussion on establishing a community infrastructure for hardware acceleration with focus on the Automata Processor.
Approximately 20 researchers from all over the country attended the 2016 National AP Community Infrastructure Planning workshop that took place on May 13-14 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Attendees represent a diverse set of background and research interests – ranging from bioinformatics to machine learning and particle physics. The community expressed a strong interest in the new Automata Processor technology through a vibrant discussion on potential areas of applications as well as articulating a “wish list” of AP capabilities that would be useful for their work. Workshop attendees also explored the design of a community infrastructure focusing on the AP as well as general hardware acceleration technologies. As AP technology is exciting and novel, the community was very interested in developing education modules that can be integrated into college-level computer architecture and computing theory courses. CAP’s work in developing tools such as “Virtual Automata Simulator (VASim)” and “RAPID programming language” to support AP research and application was very well received by the community. In addition to identifying features and components of a useful and accessible AP community infrastructure, the participants also provided input on prioritizing key near-term tasks as well as long term activities to sustain the community.
Overall, the workshop organizers were extremely happy with the level of interest and input received; and participants left with new insights into AP technology as well as many new ideas and opportunities for collaborations.